Health Services Research & Development

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Haas AP, Lane AD, Blosnich JR, Butcher BA, Mortali MG. Collecting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Information at Death. American journal of public health. 2019 Feb 1; 109(2):255-259.
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Abstract: Currently, no US jurisdiction or agency routinely or systematically collects information about individuals' sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) at the time of death. As a result, little is known about causes of death in people having a minority sexual orientation or gender identity. These knowledge gaps have long impeded identification of mortality disparities in sexual and gender minority populations and hampered the development of targeted public health interventions and prevention strategies. We offer observations about the possibilities and challenges of collecting and reporting accurate postmortem SOGI information on the basis of our past four years of working with death investigators, coroners, and medical examiners. This work was located primarily in New York, New York, and has extended from January 2015 to the present. Drawing on our experiences, we make recommendations for future efforts to include SOGI among the standard demographic variables used to characterize individuals at death.